In re: Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 12-md-02311 (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan).
CGL (Jonathan Cuneo) is interim co-lead counsel for auto dealers in 29 states and D.C. seeking compensation for auto parts bid rigging and price fixing. The auto parts involved include, among others, wire harnesses, instrument panel clusters, fuel senders, heater control panels, bearings, occupant safety restraint systems, radiators, windshield wipers, alternators, anti-vibration rubber parts and starters. There are now 30 such cases.
The US Department of Justice Antitrust Division, conducting what it deems the largest international antitrust investigation in its history, has issued criminal information against numerous makers of auto parts, ranging from wire harnesses, to instrument panels, to air bags. A number of firms have already pleaded guilty and paid huge fines. Individual managers have pleaded guilty also, and some have received jail sentences. Cases have been filed for direct purchasers of such parts, for auto dealers, and for consumers who purchased cars or replacement parts. The damage claims have been grouped in to separate cases, depending on what parts of cars were involved, but all cases were transferred to Federal District Court in Detroit, Michigan. Presiding Judge Battani has appointed CGL’s Jonathan Cuneo, along with prominent lawyers from Mississippi and Minnesota, as co-lead counsel for named car dealers and possible classes of all dealers in the 31 American jurisdictions that allow indirect purchaser victims of price-fixing to obtain damage awards.
Auto dealers have received final approval of a nearly $60 million settlement agreement, and $100 million in additional settlements are awaiting court consideration.